How far should one go for his opinions?
I’ve heard of people dying for their convictions, but I’ve not heard anyone die for his opinions. There are people though, who would want you to be punished for your opinions.
An opinion is a belief, usually without proof. It is the final product of naming things we perceive, grouping them together, forming associations among them, and creating knowledge with them.
Still, in my opinion, opinions should be allowed to be discarded. They should even be allowed to be forgotten.
Many everyday conflicts in our lives result from the fact that people cannot accept other people’s opinions. (How many drunkards have stabbed each other because they kept on repeating the words “Eh ba’t sabi mo — ?” ) Things even get dirtier when other people want you to stick to your opinions for a long time, probably forever. Changing opinions or forgetting about them is incomprehensible to some.
Perhaps we are just too limited in our concept of belief. We care for our beliefs too much, making us rigid, too panicky about people shifting opinions. There is so much to understand about the world if we’d just be more flexible, liquid, like water (Bruce Lee).
But why can’t we accept the fact that people form hundreds of opinions each minute? Hundreds of opinions are also changed and discarded each minute.
The minute we decide a person should be punished for a single opinion he stated, then that is the beginning of tyranny.
Bridging people together involves understanding that we are different, but there are ways to build bridges across those differences. One way is to accept the fact that the creation and degeneration of opinions is a natural process. People should be forgiven for their opinions, given a chance to rethink them, change them. And even if people aren’t willing to change them, we participate in breeding peace when we tolerate their opinions.
Now, let’s practice tolerance.
Here’s an opinion: I think Christians are dumb.
Oh, I’ve just changed my opinion. I think they are generally intelligent.
Now, let’s see you forgive me and show tolerance.